From HealthNewsDigest.com

Alzheimer Issues
Senate Must Protect Medicaid for Millions of Low-Income and Older Americans with Alzheimer’s or Related Dementias
By
Jun 27, 2017 - 7:54:43 AM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) - WASHINGTON, DC, —In response to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that 22 million Americans would lose coverage by 2026 under the Senate plan, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s opposes any bill that would severely restrict access to essential medical and care services for individuals with dementia and their families.

According to the CBO, implications on Medicaid will be significant: spending would decline by 26 percent and enrollment would fall by 16 percent by 2026.

“The deep and long-term cuts to the Medicaid program proposed by the current version of the Senate health care bill undermines access to care and support for low-income families grappling with Alzheimer’s, a disease that can cost families between $41,000 and $56,000 annually,” said George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman. “One in four individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia relies on Medicaid to help cover a range of services including home- and community-based assistance like bathing, dressing, preparing meals and managing medication.”

Last week, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s signed on to a letter facilitated by the Alliance for Aging Research, specifically calling upon Senate leaders to strengthen, not weaken Medicaid. The letter said, “On behalf of the millions of American families facing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, we implore you to build upon, rather than dismantle, Medicaid expansion.”

“We stand ready to work with you to develop policies that will ensure people with [Alzheimer’s and related dementias] and their family caregivers have access to a robust coverage that provides affordable and comprehensive benefits.”

While a majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias receive home-based care, often uncompensated from family members, many people with dementia are also cared for in adult day centers, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes given the intensive assistance needed. However, assisted living ($43,200 annual average) and nursing home care ($80,300 annual average) are very costly. With the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s projected to grow to approximately 8 million by 2030, Medicaid will play an increasingly important role in supporting families.

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s will continue to earnestly champion efforts that improve Medicaid benefits for Americans who are coping with the daunting burden of this disease.

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